The ADB assistance
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
A most welcome report after the devastation that Supertyphoon Yolanda had wrought on several parts of our country recently is the announcement that the Asian Development Bank is providing a $500 million loan to help in the rehabilitation of the affected areas and the people who had survived the tragedy.
All throughout the days after the calamity struck, our country has gratefully accepted the assistance extended by so many countries and entities who sent food, clothing, water, and a lot of other necessities for those who had lost practically everything – homes, properties, and even family members. The help continues to pour in, greatly easing the misery of those who had suffered and survived. Up to the time of this writing, shiploads and planeloads, as well as truckloads of those necessities continue to arrive for the stricken communities in Leyte, Samar, parts of Cebu, Panay, and even Negros.
But all those are just temporary palliatives and while they have managed to tide the sufferers over for a while, what about the coming days and years when they will have to fend for themselves?
This is when the long lasting aid, in the form that the ADB is offering, will be of the greatest help. This is because, through this, they can start rebuilding their homes, their livelihoods and their lives, in general.
But there is a worrisome note in this form of assistance. It has been noted, sadly, that even the aid coming from other individuals and groups as well as countries, may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous persons. How can it be assured that the ADB funds will accomplish their purpose?
We suggest that our Finance Department closely monitor the way this assistance is extended to the needy. This is it can do by supervising the way the loaned amount is used by strictly seeing to it that it is spent only for the exact purpose it was granted, such as for housing, farming, fishing, manufacturing, small scale industries, or businesses. Only in this way can it be ensured that the money loaned out will truly help rebuild, rehabilitate, and normalize the lives of the stricken populace.*